When you’re younger, you naturally have firm, wrinkle-free skin reflecting strong healthy connective tissue, and it doesn’t take much effort to keep it that way. As you head into your late 20’s though, you may start to notice changes to your skin, perhaps it’s only a small line appearing around your mouth or a small crease under your eyes. These are early signs that your skin is beginning to age. The appearance of your skin plays an important role in your perception of wellbeing and cosmetic beauty, so its healthy appearance is often very important to you.
About your skin
Your skin provides you with a hard-wearing barrier between your internal and external world, much like a waterproof bodysuit that’s flexible, washable, resists wrinkles, keeps its shape and lasts a life time. Skin has two main layers; the epidermis (outer layer) which provides a tough protective coating, and the dermis (inner layer) which provides strength and firmness to your skin. The dermis is rich in blood vessels so helps provide nutrients for healthy, nourished skin.
Healthy, firm skin is made up of strong, yet flexible connective tissue obtained from proteins or amino acid building blocks, particularly collagen, elastin and keratin.
Collagen: strength & firmness
Collagen represents around 30% of your total body protein and is a major structural component of connective tissue found in your skin, providing tensile strength and firmness to the dermis. Collagen attracts and binds water, so helps keep your skin well hydrated and ‘plumped-up.’
Elastin is a protein found in connective tissue that has an ‘elastic’ property, giving your skin the ability to stretch and then bounce back to its original shape i.e. when you smile or laugh, elastin allows your skin to stretch and then bounce back into shape once you’ve stopped smiling or laughing.
Keratin: structure & protection
Keratin is the key structural building block that provides you with a tough physical barrier for your skin, helping to protect all the underlying structures in your body, including the dermis.
Top 4 nutrients for gorgeous looking skin:
- Silica is an important trace mineral essential for elastin and keratin production, and helps to cross-link collagen fibres for strong, supple skin.
- Biotin (vitamin B7) helps build up keratin levels in your skin and normalise your body’s oil secretions and a deficiency may lead to dry, flaky skin. Biotin plays an important role in the metabolism of amino acid building blocks.
- Resveratrol helps boost collagen production and is a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger, helping to reduce visible signs of ageing. Free radicals damage your cells and accelerate the ageing process resulting in fine lines and wrinkles.
Supplementing with collagen helps to boost your own collagen levels and slow down the visible signs of ageing by ‘plumping-up’ and hydrating skin, smoothing and firming your skin.
Nutritional & lifestyle tips for younger looking skin
- Drink plenty of water for hydration
- Eat good quality, protein rich foods
- Include lots of fresh fruits & vegetables in your diet
- Cut out sugar & refined, processed foods
- Apply sunscreen & lip balm when enjoying the great outdoors
- Use natural, chemical free beauty & personal products
- Enjoy moderate exercise to get your circulation going
- Watch your stress levels
- No smoking
If you’d like younger looking gorgeous skin, come and talk with one of our experienced Naturopaths who can guide you on the best products available.
Mr Vitamins Recommends
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- In-Tele-Health © 2008 (from Hyperhealth Pro)
- Integumentary system viewed on 15/08/2018 at http://www.innerbody.com/anatomy/integumentary
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- Marieb, EN (2000), Essentials of Human Anatomy & Physiology, 6th Edition, Benjamin Cummings, California.
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- Reavley N, 1998, The New Encyclopaedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements & herbs, Bookmen Press,
- Resveratrol Monograph, Alternative Medicine Review, 2010, volume 15, number 2